Early Estimates of the COVID-19 Impact on Maternal and Child Health

While the COVID-19 pandemic will increase mortality due to the virus, it is also likely to increase mortality indirectly. In this study, the authors estimate the additional maternal and under-5 child deaths resulting from the potential disruption of health systems and decreased access to food.

The results of the study show that if routine health care is disrupted and access to food is decreased (as a result of unavoidable shocks, health system collapse, or intentional choices made in responding to the pandemic), the increase in child and maternal deaths will be devastating. The authors hope these numbers add context as policy makers establish guidelines and allocate resources in the days and months to come.

Source: Early Estimates of the COVID-19 Impact on Maternal and Child Health

    Demand Creation and Advocacy for COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance and Uptake

    As the introduction of effective COVID-19 vaccines is on the horizon, it is time to quickly expand SBC programs to address public acceptance of and generate demand for these critical public health tools.

    This quick start guide was developed to support FHI 360 programs and their partners to design and implement demand creation and advocacy activities as part of national COVID-19 vaccine introduction efforts. This guide draws primarily on FHI 360’s experience designing and implementing SBC programs to promote uptake of health products and services, including vaccination services, but also borrows from other global tools, including those developed by the WHO and UNICEF.

    This resource can be used by SBC practitioners as a step-by-step guide to take them from defining and understanding local SBC needs to implementing and adjusting activities to respond to changing conditions. Importantly, this resource is intended as a living document where additional design and implementation tools will be added (or removed), and adaptations made to ensure the guide and its component parts remain current and useful.

    Source: Demand Creation and Advocacy for COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance and Uptake

      The COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Handbook

      This handbook is for journalists, doctors, nurses, policy makers, researchers, teachers, students, parents, and others.

      It contains information about:

      • COVID-19 vaccines
      • How to talk to others about them
      • How to challenge misinformation about the vaccines

      Source: The COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Handbook

        5 Ways to Use Sensitivity When Writing About Vaccines

        This blog explains that health professionals need to approach their patients who are opposed to vaccination with understanding and patience.

        They should anticipate vaccine-related questions and suggest five ways to deal with the patients:

        1. Knowledge Management: An Effective Tool to Stem Vaccine Hesitancy
        2. Contain Vaccination Misinformation
        3. Find a new way to tell the “this is why vaccines are important” story
        4. Use Your Platform to Educate About the Benefit of Vaccines
        5. Identify Pro-Immunization Spokespeople

        Source: 5 Ways to Use Sensitivity When Writing About Vaccines

          COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Strategy, India

          This communication strategy supports the COVID-19 vaccines rollout in India and seeks to disseminate timely, accurate and transparent information about the vaccine(s) to alleviate apprehensions about the vaccine, ensure its acceptance and encourage uptake.

          The strategy will also serve to guide national, state and district level communication activities, so that the information on the COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination process reaches all people, across all states in the country.

          Source: COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Strategy, India

            COVID-19 Vaccination Communication

            This report, which was developed in consultation with leading experts in social and behavioral sciences and public health, outlines evidence-informed communication strategies in support of national COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts across federal agencies and their state and local partners.

            Source: COVID-19 Vaccination Communication

              Key Guidelines in Developing a Pre-Emptive COVID-19 Vaccination Uptake Promotion Strategy

              This paper makes the case for immediate planning for a COVID-19 vaccination uptake strategy in advance of vaccine availability for two reasons: first, the need to build a consensus about the order in which groups of the population will get access to the vaccine; second, to reduce any fear and concerns that exist in relation to vaccination and to create demand for vaccines. A key part of this strategy is to counter the anti-vaccination movement that is already promoting hesitancy and resistance.

              This paper aims to set out in short form critical guidelines that governments and regional bodies should take to enhance the impact of a COVID-19 vaccination strategy. We base our recommendations on a review of existing best practice guidance. This paper aims to assist those responsible for promoting COVID-19 vaccine uptake to digest the mass of guidance that exists and formulate an effective locally relevant strategy.

              A summary of key guidelines is presented based on best practice guidance.

              Source: Key Guidelines in Developing a Pre-Emptive COVID-19 Vaccination Uptake Promotion Strategy

                COVID-19 Global Risk Communication and Community Engagement Strategy

                There is an unprecedented need to elevate the role risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) plays in breaking the chains of transmission and mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

                Until biomedical tools such as vaccines or treatments are developed and widely available, people’s behaviour and their willingness to follow public health and social measures remain the most powerful tools to stop the spread of the virus.

                The COVID-19 Global Risk Communication and Community Engagement Strategy, December 2020 – May 2021 provides an important update for member states and supporting partners. The updated strategy is underpinned by a socio-behavioral trends analysis and builds on the learnings from the response to-date. The shift presented in the document is towards the community engagement and participatory approaches that have been proven to help control and eliminate outbreaks in the past.

                The overarching goal of the strategy: That people-centred and community-led approaches are championed widely – resulting in increased trust and social cohesion, and ultimately a reduction in the negative impacts of COVID-19.

                Source: COVID-19 Global Risk Communication and Community Engagement Strategy

                  The Best Evidence for How to Overcome COVID Vaccine Fears

                  Now that the COVID-19 vaccine is becoming available, somewhere between 60 and 90 percent of adults and children must be vaccinated or have antibodies resulting from infection in order to arrive at the safe harbor known as herd immunity, where the whole community is protected.

                  However, among the US population, there are large segments that remain reluctant or opposed to receiving the vaccines. In the Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 42 percent of Republicans said they definitely or probably would not. The same was true for 35 percent of Black adults, who, as a group, have borne a disproportionate share of sickness and death from COVID-19. Also deeply hesitant were 35 percent of rural residents, 36 percent of adults ages 30 to 49, and—especially worrisome given their public-facing roles—33 percent of essential workers and 29 percent of those who work in a health care delivery setting.

                  For the reluctant and distrustful, it will take targeted actions and communication strategies that speak to the specific concerns of each group to move them toward accepting the new vaccines. This article describes several approaches to reach those audiences.

                  Source: The Best Evidence for How to Overcome COVID Vaccine Fears

                    Inside the Mind of an Anti-vaxxer

                    This article describes the attitude of the many individuals in the US who are against vaccination and details steps that can be taken to change their attitudes and behavior.

                    The various options of changing people’s attitudes toward vaccinations are discussed.

                    Source: Inside the Mind of an Anti-vaxxer